United Episcopal Church of North America

Infobox Christian denomination
name = United Episcopal Church of North America

|center
imagewidth =135px
caption = The UECNA crest.
main_classification = Continuing Anglican
orientation = Anglo-Catholic to Evangelical
polity = Episcopal, (with Apostolic Succession)
founder = Charles D.D. Doren
founded_date = 1981
founded_place =Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
leader/moderator = Stephen C. Reber, Archbishop
separated_from = Anglican Catholic Church
associations = Inter-Communion with Anglican Catholic Church
leader = Stephen C. Reber
area = United States
congregations =20 parishes and missions [http://united-episcopal.org/Files/AFramesParishes.html UECNA Parishes] ]
footnotes = http://www.united-episcopal.org/

The United Episcopal Church of North America (UECNA) is a traditional Anglican Christian church that is part of the Continuing Anglican movement. It was founded by clergy and lay members of the Anglican Catholic Church who formed in response to changes within the Anglican Communion. The changes that the church objected to included the acceptance of abortion rights, broadening marital relationships, the ordination of women, and changes to the theology of the Book of Common Prayer.

The United Episcopal Church of North America is considered to be part of the Continuing Anglican movement but does not consider itself to be a Protestant denomination or part of the American fundamentalist movement, but rather a continuation of the ancient Christian church.

The UECNA describes itself as orthodox, catholic and evangelical in scope, "embracing the broad base of ceremonial practice inherent in the Historic Anglican Communion - The Anglican Catholic Episcopal Tradition." The United Episcopal Church of North America uses the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.

History

Main article: "History of the Church of England"See also: "English Reformation"

Founding of the UECNA

Bishop Charles D. D. Doren is considered the founder of the UECNA. The church was established in 1981 after he and three parishes left the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) to create the UECNA as a home for Anglicans of the Low Church tradition. Today the UECNA has reconciled with the ACC and, as of 2007, has an intercommunion agreement with the ACC. [http://www.united-episcopal.org/Files/Acommunion.html Excerpts from the website of the UECNA] ]

There are approximately 20 UECNA parishes and mission projects located in 11 states including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Intercommunion agreements

See: "Anglicanism"

The UECNA has effected intercommunion agreements with a number of other Continuing Anglican churches. Those presently in effect are with:
*the Anglican Catholic Church,
*the Anglican Province of Christ the King, and
*the Diocese of the Great Lakes.

The presiding bishop of the Anglican Province of Christ the King, responding to the ACC-UECNA intercommunion agreement, has extended his support and approval. [http://www.anglicanpck.org/news/articles/acc_statement_july_10_2007.html ACC statement on Unity with response from APCK ]

The UECNA recently ended its intercommunion arrangement with the Anglican Province of America, citing the APA's signing of a similar agreement with the Reformed Episcopal Church.

Doctrine

Main article: "Anglican doctrine"

According to the Most Reverend Stephen C. Reber, the UECNA's archbishop:

"As Anglicans, we then accept the components of the faith revealed; the Scriptures, Creeds, Councils, Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, and Tradition. We believe that all of the components are like strands of a rope; a unity which holds the church together. In this belief we share a Catholic ideal way of faith.

The Reformation of the 16th century was the most comprehensive and far reaching effect to return the Christian faith to its legitimate roots of faith and practice. We accept the English Reformation as that which diligently sought the true sources of faith and discredited the many corruptions and distortions of the Middle Ages. Actually, the Articles of Religion found in the Prayer Book were written not as a statement of faith, but to deal with the above mentioned distortions and corruptions of the medieval church.

We do not, however, accept the theology of the Continental Reformation or its uncatholic effort which tried to discard the fundamental principles of the historic faith along with the abuses. We do not accept private innovations intruding into the Church’s teachings. We honor Luther, Calvin, Knox and others for their efforts to explain the faith, but do not accept them as having prophetic abilities to speak for God."

Explaining the UECNA's view of itself and its mission, the statement continues:

"We do believe God has given us a special position as a “bridge church” — a bridge between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

We proclaim a living way of faith and worship that believes in every persons right to life, honor traditional marriage between a man a woman and practice financial policies that allow local ownership of local property (Church, parish house, etc). The United Episcopal Church of North America, while coming from the American arm of the Anglican Communion and having our apostolic succession from these bodies, does not belong to either of these organizations nor shares their extreme liberal views on morals and their abandonment of orthodoxy.

We are a church truly catholic and evangelical in scope and embrace a broad base of ceremonial practice inherent in the Historic Anglican Tradition." [http://www.united-episcopal.org/Files/About.html Excerpt from the webpages of the UECNA, "About us" section] ]

Departures from The Episcopal Church

See:" Recent controversies in the ECUSA"While the UECNA and TEC share numerous doctrines, practices and core beliefs, the UECNA departs from some teachings of The Episcopal Church and lists the following as examples of what it believes are TEC departures from the orthodox teachings of the church.

The UECNA objects to the mainline Episcopal Church on the following issues:
# The UECNA condemns the acceptance and condoning of abortion on demand; [ [http://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts_new/acts_resolution-complete.pl?resolution=1994-A054 Episcopal Church Resolution 1994-A054 on abortion] ]
# The UECNA rejects the influence of liberal theology and certain aspects of liberation theology;
# The UECNA rejects alterations in the theology of the traditional Book of Common Prayer (The UECNA rejects the 1979 version);
# The UECNA rejects the ECUSA's participation in political movements where free people are denied the right or ability to defend themselves against tyrants;
# The UECNA opposes the acceptance of ordained practicing homosexuals and/or women to the priesthood and office of the bishops, although the UECNA believes that all should be loved. The UECNA does actively encourage women to participate in the church through the vestry and as parishioners. Both men and women are eligible to become professed members in the UECNA's religious order, the Order of St Benedict.

Past leaders of the United Episcopal Church

* Bishop - C. David Dale Doren
* Bishop - Albion Knight
* Bishop - John C. Gramley

Current leaders of the United Episcopal Church

* Archdeacon - Fr. Sam Seamens [http://www.anglicanmh.com St. Thomas Anglican Church]
* Archdeacon in Charge of Military Endorsing, US Chaplains Corp-DOD - Fr. George E. McClellan
* Archbishop - Stephen C. Reber Grace Chapel, Statesville, North Carolina

National Council

The National Council is composed of the Archbishop and ten members chosen from the clergy and laity.

Ordination and lay leadership

See: "Episcopal polity"

The UECNA's leadership is divided among lay leaders and ordained ministers as follows:
[
mitre ]

Ordained levels

Those in ordained positions (including students admitted to postulancy) include the following: [ [http://www.united-episcopal.org/Files/Bishop/HaveWhatItTakes.html UECNA ordination guide on-line] ] :

*Postulant - Is a student for Holy orders and must complete not less than one year of study consisting of Church History, Pastoral Work, Liturgics, Doctrine and Holy Scripture. He assists the local parish as a layreader in the offices of the church as called upon and allowed by the canons of the church.
*Deacon - There are two types of deacons: perpetual and transitional. A transitional deacon is training for priesthood. Both serve at the pleasure of the Presiding Bishop. A transitional deacon can be called to assist other priests in the parish. Before priesthood the deacon must serve for not less than one year and complete a course of study.
*Priest - "The priest will take part in community activities and will actively evangelize the un-churched or the lost to become an active part of the Body of Christ."
*Bishop - Bishops are "assigned a Diocese consisting of a given number of parishes, and will provide regular oversight, counsel and guidance to those parishes. An Episcopal visit to each parish will be made not less than once a year and attendance at national counsels and meetings as called."

Lay leadership positions

*Lay Reader - A competent layman licensed by a bishop of the Church to read some parts of a service of worship.

*Warden - An Officer of the Vestry (parish council)

The United Episcopal Church Women

The UECW is an official organization of women who serve the church.

The Order of St. Benedict

See also: "Order of St. Benedict (Anglican)"

The church recognizes one monastic order, which is named the Order of St. Benedict. [http://united-episcopal.org/anglican-osb/rule.html] The order uses a modified version of the Rule of St. Benedict. [ [http://united-episcopal.org/anglican-osb/ Order of St. Benedict] ] Membership is open to married or single men and women over the age of 21 who are convicted that they are called to the religious life.

The order has no established communities and does not establish communities. Instead, " [m] embers provide for their own living quarters and obtain their livelihood through secular or religious employment"

The stages of development are:
#Postulant - one who has made application to the abbot, been accepted to the order, and awaits investiture as a novice.
#Novice - one who vows to a testing period of one year. These vows are taken in the presence of the abbot, or a priest appointed by the abbot.
#Professed Member - one who takes final vows of the order. These vows are taken in the presence of the Abbot.

Publications

*"Glad Tidings", News and Events from the UECNA.

ee also

*Anglicanism
*Church of England
*History of the Church of England

References

External links

* [http://www.united-episcopal.org/Files/Acommunion.html Official UECNA website]


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